Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Catching Fire

Author: Suzanne Collins {site}
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Format: Kindle
Published: 1 September 2009
Disclosure: Purchased at Amazon for Kindle.

Synopsis: {via goodreads}
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol.

**Could include spoilers from this point on**

Katniss and Peeta are back in the spotlight in Catching Fire, dragged into something they could never have forseen, nor planned for. A rebellion... and Katniss is unwittingly its symbol. Unfortunately, this means death for everyone Katniss and Peeta love. The book unfolds as they go on their victory tour and we learn about the Quarter Quell, an event that happens every 25 years. This time the Quarter Quell means breaking all the rules of the Hunger Games and Katniss and Peeta are tossed right into the middle of it.

While we learn a great deal about Panem, and it's people, and start to feel for some of the people who live in the Capitol, this book doesn't have the breakneck pace that The Hunger Games had. It's slower, and more cereberal, but because of this we get to see how Katniss's brain really works, when she has time to think about things completely. We also get a sense that she might be more scarred than she's willing to let on. When the announcement of the Quarter Quell comes, her reaction clues us in on the psychological trauma she's truly feeling about her time in the Arena. I felt for her, my heart went out to her, but it also went out to Peeta, who picked himself--and Katniss and Haymitch--up by the bootstraps.

The characters, in Catching Fire, have matured, even little Prim who we can't help but feel sorry for in her immediate loss of innocence through the games and the events thereafter. We feel even more conflicted, right along side Katniss, about Peeta and Gale, particularly because Gale plays a bigger part in this book. Only slightly, but he does. There're also new characters, like Finnick, who I couldn't help but fall for and President Snow, who, while he isn't exactly new, is more present in this book and more hate-able.

Overall, I enjoyed the pace of this book, though there were moments when I longed for the action that made The Hunger Games so amazing. I was, however, shocked by the ending, but I also felt it was a little bit too abrupt. Cliffhangers are fine, but this one felt a bit like the rest of the book was just missing. It was too abrupt for my liking. Luckily, I had Mockingjay on my Kindle and was able to start it right away, but had I been reading these books when they were new and the final chapter wasn't yet released, I'd probably have been quite upset at how abruptly the book finishes.  I was also fairly upset about the turn of events where Peeta was concerned, right at the end... I nearly cried, then I got upset, and waited for something more to be said about it but the book ended. I hope Mockingjay is quick to pick up on that one, because at this point I'm reading it for Peeta, which I think was probably the intention.

Rating: 4.5/5
I am going to have to make half stars, I think. I'm still not entirely sure how I might go about that. But there you have it.

Also, check out my review for The Hunger Games.

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